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Koster’s cattle idea, Bangor begins, NFL scab-tastrophe…

Wednesday, September 26, 2012




► At PubliCola — Koster: Non-citizen immigrants ‘go home’ — Republican 1st District Congressional candidate John Koster doubles down on his unfortunate suggestion that immigrant farm workers should, like cattle, be tagged with bar codes to make sure they aren’t working illegally or sneaking away from the fields. (Never mind that Washington State is losing much of its apple harvest due to a shortage of workers.)

► In today’s Seattle Times — TV ad misleads in slamming Inslee for tax hike — The Republican Governors Association ad featuring five gray-haired men grousing over breakfast about Inslee is mostly false. The tax-increase claim refers to the federal health-care law, but exaggerates its impact on small businesses in Washington. The ad also repeats an already discredited claim about federal stimulus spending.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The leader of the group of grumpy old men paying for this ad has vowed that Republican Rob McKenna will do to Washington what Scott Walker did to Wisconsin.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee, McKenna and the economic debate (by Jon Talton) — Both Inslee and McKenna make important points. But the reality is that if low taxes and “light” regulation were the key to economic success (as McKenna suggests), then Mississippi would be Singapore. If all state government had to do was “get out of the way,” then Boeing, for example, would probably have built the Dreamliner elsewhere.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Waste Management to pay $1.24 million in settlement over garbage strike — The longest garbage strike in Seattle history has resulted in rebates to customers whose trash wasn’t collected, sometimes for as long as 12 days.

► In the Ellensburg Daily Record — Firefighting costs at $5.6 million — More than 1,000 personnel are working to fight the Table Mountain blaze, which was at 36,298 acres and is 10% contained.

An aerial view of a section of the Delta Refit Pier at the Bangor Submarine Base showing two Ohio class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines tied up at the facility.

► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Construction begins Thursday on Bangor explosives handling wharf— Contractors begin in-water construction Thursday of a second explosives handling wharf on the Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor waterfront.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This $715 million project is the U.S. Navy’s first to be covered by a Project Labor Agreement.

► In today’s Seattle Times — City board OKs design of Amazon’s 3 towers with 3-2 vote — A divided Downtown Design Review Board gave its blessing Tuesday to the design of’s proposed three-block, high-rise complex in the Denny Triangle, downtown’s biggest development ever.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Jan. 1 budget ‘cliff’ threatens Boeing tanker — Automatic government spending cuts of about 10 percent will go into effect Jan. 1, barring action by Congress that would reduce the federal deficit. A recent White House report included the tanker on a list of programs subject to the cut, known as sequestration and called by some the “fiscal cliff.”

► In today’s Columbian — Pendleton mill to step up safety — Pendleton Woolen Mills has agreed to take extra steps to boost health and safety at its Washougal textile mill in exchange for paying reduced penalties for violations under an agreement it has reached with state regulators.

►  Today’s August unemployment-rate coverage — Clark (9.6%▲), Cowlitz (11.4%▲), King (7.4%▼), Kitsap (7.7%▲), Lewis (12.8%▲), Pierce (9.4%▲), Snohomish (8.3%▼), Spokane (9%▲), Thurston (8.2%▲), Whatcom(7.7%▲)




► In today’s NY Times — Polls show Obama widening his lead in Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania — The new poll shows Obama leading Romney by 53-43 percent among likely voters in Ohio and with a 53-44 edge in Florida. In Pennsylvania, Obama holds a 12-point advantage over Romney, 54-42 percent.

► At TPM — Sen. Brown’s staffers make ‘tomahawk chop’ motions at Warren supporters — Staffers for Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) reportedly participated in war-whoop sounds and “tomahawk chop” gestures at supporters of Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, mocking Warren’s claimed Native American ancestry.




► From AP — Most Americans expect Affordable Care Act to be implemented— About 7 in 10 Americans think President Obama’s health care law will go fully into effect with some changes, ranging from minor to major alterations, an AP poll finds. Just 12% say they expect the Affordable Care Act — “Obamacare” to dismissive opponents — to be repealed completely.

► In today’s NY Times — American Airlines faults its pilots for disruptions — Airlines typically try to keep flying through bankruptcy. But simmering labor tensions at American Airlines have boiled over from the negotiating room to the airports in recent weeks, disrupting operations and leaving a trail of delayed and canceled flights that the airline says is the fault of its pilots.

► In today’s NY Times — Deportation deferrals put employers of immigrants in a bind — Asked by program applicants to verify a job, farmers and small businesses are worried about exposing themselves to prosecution for hiring illegal workers.

► In today’s Washington Post — Redistributing wealth upward (by Harold Meyerson) — Many Democrats have been complicit in this calamity by their indifference to the consequences of deregulation and trade. But the trophy for promoting the policies that have redistributed wealth, family stability and longevity upward goes to the Republicans, whose standard-bearers are championing even more radical versions of these policies today.




► In The Hill — AFL-CIO:  NFL referee lockout ‘a complete disaster’ — “The NFL referee lockout is a complete disaster —  something that’s obvious to everyone except (supposedly) the people keeping the referees locked out. Much ink has been spent on decrying the replacement referees and how they’re ruining football (never mind how they’re putting players’ safety at risk).”

TAKE A STAND! — Sign the AFL-CIO petition to NFL management urging an immediate end to the lockout of union referees.

► In today’s Washington Post — What the NFL referee dispute tells us about unions — In many ways, the referee feud is fairly representative of modern labor battles playing out in Wisconsin and elsewhere. It echoes the growing number of fights between unions and private companies in recent years over retirement plans.

► On KUOW’s The Conversation — Click here for an audio file of Tuesday’s edition featuring an interview with Dave Zirin, Sports Editor of The Nation magazine (yes, Virginia, there’s a Sports Editor at The Nation). Zirin cuts to the heart of the issue, explaining how the integrity of a $9 billion per year sport is being sacrificed over an issue that would cost just $60,000 per team per week to resolve.

“This is not a case of a lockout that took place after negotiations broke down. This lockout was a conscious strategy from the very beginning by the NFL owners to be able to get every concession they want from the referees. It’s not economic because referees make $8,000 a week, it’s ideological. Every single sports lockout over the last four years — and that’s the NFL, NFL refs, NBA and NHL — the owners have been represented by the same law firm in each of these cases and the same negotiators in each of these cases.”

► In today’s NY Times — Zebra-nomics (by Timothy Egan) — The “inaccurate reception” could spur many of the couch-dwelling citizens of Football Nation to give Mitt Romney’s Bain-style corporate economics a hard look. It’s worked so well for the rest of the United States, this wealth gap, this creative destruction on behalf of the noble job creators. Now look what it’s doing to the true national pastime.


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